Supervisor's family devastated by apparent murder-suicide on northwest side
Nick Montes & WTMJ News Team
Jermont Terry reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
MILWAUKEE- The family of a 58-year-old man is crushed after their loved one was murdered Thursday night on Milwaukee's northwest side.
Police say an employee of Trans-Coil International, 23-year-old Thaiv Xiong, shot 58-year-old George Hites, a supervisor, multiple times around 6 p.m. Thursday. Then Xiong shot himself in the head. Hites died at the hospital. Police found Xiong dead inside the plant.
Hites spent 25 years working at the manufacturing plant near N. 86th Street and W. Bradley Road.
Hites' brother, J.R, told TODAY'S TMJ4 that the supervisor had a few problems with Xiong. "My brother wrote him up for a disciplinary problem of not working," said J.R. Hites.
J.R. never imagined Xiong would react the way he did.
"(George) was thinking about retiring soon," said J.R. "He wanted to work three more years and retire and now that's not happening."
As the family grieves, they remember George Hites passion for life. "George was a fantastic guy, he was a family man (crying). He's got two kids and six grand kids," said J.R.
The family realizes the investigation is still open but they do have some serious questions for the company. "Right now we think the company should be at fault for this -- for letting people have a gun in the shop," said J.R.
Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn responded by saying, "None of his colleagues had received any information or perceived any problems that would lead them to think that violence was likely."
Employees at Trans-Coil International returned to work Friday, hours after two of their co-workers died in an apparent murder-suicide.
Some employees got a shock coming to work.
“I don’t know, no idea,” Momyeej Cha said when asked if he heard about the shooting at his work.
Despite this tragedy, employees say Trans-Coil International is a great place to work, and they had positive things to say about Hites.
"He's a great guy - you know. He comes in and does what he has to do. I say 'hi' to him every day," Shi Vang, an employee says.
Vang says she doesn't know Xiong well, but has seen him around the workplace. He can’t imagine why this would happen.
"Madness...whatever he's going through. I don't know," Vang says.